Down the list of least needy causes, it's just below a man standing next to his Hummer bumming for gas. But any true lover of melodic pop music oughta sign a petition to get Graham Nash inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What's that, you say? Nash was already inducted in 1997 as a member of Crosby, Stills and Nash? Yes, that's true, but there's a problem: Graham Nash has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only once.
Both David Crosby and Stephen Stills are two-time inductees for their stints in the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield, respectively. Factor in that sometime CSN&Y member Neil Young has been honored for his solo work as well as the Buffalo Springfield, and you have a situation that has rendered Graham Nash, who has authored the lion's share of CSN&Y Top 40 hits, including "Teach Your Children," "Our House," "Wasted on the Way" and "Marrakesh Express," the Ringo of the world's longest-running supergroup. That ain't right. Why should Nash have to ride in the back of the limo because Crosby called "shotgun" first?
Let's all start a letter-writing campaign to the Hall of Fame and make sure to include the following reasons it should give Nash and the Hollies, who've been passed over 23 consecutive years, "Just One Look" again.
1. They had 23 U.S. and U.K. Top 40 hits, more than The Byrds, the Buffalo Springfield, and Souther, Hillman and Furay combined.
2. Nash was the first British Invasion pop star to sport a Van Dyke, unless you want to count Chad and Jeremy's appearance on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
3. All the original Hollies are still alive. Even some of the unoriginal ones still are.
4. Screw Morrissey and Cliff Richard; the Hollies were Brit rock's first celibates. They defiantly sang "We're lovers but we don't make love" on "A Peculiar Situation." And they weren't complaining!
5. The Hollies were the first group to use tapes in concert to re-create the orchestral parts of their 1967 album Butterfly, clearing the way for The Who, Queen, and Ashlee Simpson to stretch the soup onstage.
6. The Hollies' insensitive covers of Dylan songs influenced Dylan to ruin his own songs for decades to come.
7. Besides the impeccable Clarke-Hicks and Nash harmonies, the Hollies had Bobby Elliot, a drummer's drummer with Keith Moon's manic energy and Charlie Watts' control. And after years of wearing hats, he became the only known balding rock star to boldly wear a wig until Marky Ramone.
8. Nash is said to have clamped down his balls to hit the tea kettle-high notes on the aptly named "I Can't Let Go." Even the Vienna Boys Choir never did that.
9. Anyone could use a fuzztone on a psychedelic song. But the unexpected Tony Hicks buzzsaw solo on the folk ballad "A Hard Year" probably induced a lot of unreported heart attacks.
10. Nash wrote "Elevated Observations," in which he sang, "Ego is dead, ego is dead" over and over. And then demanded individual songwriting credits! And then joined Crosby, Stills and Nash!
Sat., May 29, 8 p.m., 2010